NEW YORK – In a heartfelt welcome Andonis Diamataris, the Publisher of The National Herald, told the students of the afternoon Greek school of the Cathedral of St. Demetrios of Astoria who came to sing Christmas carols that “You put me in the Christmas spirit. Truly I say to you that if you don’t come to sings the carols every year, I don’t feel it.”
He thanked the children and the adults and said “It is a great honor and joy to have you come and sing for us.”
Led by their principal, Timoleon Kokkinos and accompanied by their teachers and members of the PTA, the students of the fifth and sixth grade sang Greek and non-Greek religious and secular carols, in beautiful, flawless Greek.
Kokkinos acknowledged the role of the parents as well as teachers and administration in their mission of providing the children of the community with a superior Greek education.
He also said that in Astoria, “the headquarters building of the Federation Hellenic Societies of Greater New York is the community’s home but The National Herald is Hellenism’s home.”
Diamataris thanked Kokkinos, and noted that the carols the children presented have been sung by Greeks for centuries and are part of their identity.
“As long as there are students and teachers and parents like you, I am certain that that which we call Hellenism will thrive,” and he reminded them that all Greeks form one family.”
He congratulated them all, and offered a “final piece of advice, since I am older than you: Read. Read everything you can get your hands on. You will have free time during the Christmas vacation. Don’t watch too much TV. Read. Merry Christmas.”
The children were accompanied by their teachers, Peggy Simakos and Kalliopi Xanthopoulou, and PTA members Angela Captain, Irene Diakogerogios, Maria Skordas, Jimmy Skordas and Ansastasia Charalambos.